Kentucky ID requirements for voting by mail

COVID-19 Advisory: No determination has been made regarding whether there will be any changes to absentee voting rules for the general election. We will update this page with any developments.

Who is eligible to request a mail-in absentee ballot and vote by mail?

To be qualified to vote by mail-in absentee ballot, you must be:

  • Unable to appear at the polls on election day because of age, illness or disability and not have been declared mentally disabled by a court
  • Military personnel, a dependent, or overseas citizen
  • Temporarily residing out of state but still eligible to vote in Kentucky
  • A student who temporarily resides outside the county
  • Incarcerated but not yet convicted of a crime
  • Prevented from voting in person at the polls on Election Day and from casting an in-person absentee ballot in the county clerk's office on all days in-person absentee voting is conducted because of your employment location
  • Changing or have changed your place of residence to a different state where the books are closed in the new state before Presidential/VP election, in which case you may cast a mail-in absentee ballot for these offices only
  • A participant in Secretary of State’s crime victim address confidentiality protection program

The voter’s completed application must be received not later than the close of business hours seven (7) days before the election.

First-time voters

When you register to vote or vote for the first time in a federal election in your state, you must prove who you are:
  • If you register to vote in person, you must show a driver’s license, state ID, or provide the last 4 digits of your social security number (SSN), if you have one.
  • If you registered by mail and did not include your state’s driver’s license number or the last 4 digits of your SSN, you must show an acceptable form of ID (see below) at your polling place.
  • If you apply for an absentee/vote by mail ballot and did not include your state’s driver’s license number or the last 4 digits of your SSN when you registered by mail, you must include a copy of an acceptable ID (see below).

Here is a list of acceptable IDs: Documents that prove who you are

Your state may have other ID requirements for voting in person or for absentee/vote by mail ballot.

Who is eligible to request an in-person absentee ballot?

If you want to vote in person before election day, you must apply in person at the county clerk’s office or other designated location, and provide ID. To be qualified to vote by in-person absentee ballot, you must be:

  • Absent from the county of your residence on any election day
  • Have surgery, or whose spouse has surgery, scheduled that will require hospitalization on election day
  • Temporarily residing out of state but still eligible to vote in Kentucky and will be absent from the county on election day
  • A resident of Kentucky and a uniformed-service member confined to a military base
  • In your last trimester of pregnancy at the time you wish to vote
  • Not having been declared mentally disabled by a court and on account of age, illness or disability not able to appear at the polls on election day
  • A student who temporarily resides outside the county
  • Not permitted to vote by a mail-in ballot, but will be absent from your county on election day
  • Any member of the county board of elections, precinct election officer appointed to serve in a precinct other than that in which you are registered, or a member of staff for the county board of elections

Do you need to provide ID to vote in-person absentee?

Yes, learn what types of ID are accepted.

Do you need to submit ID with your mail ballot application?

Yes, learn what types of ID are accepted.

Do you need to submit ID with your mail ballot?

No, but the signature on your mail ballot must match your signature on file.

Last update: April 27, 2020

Hannah Piercey

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